Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James, and some of his teammates, will not be staying at the Trump SoHo hotel in New York while they are in town to play the New York Knicks. The team was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday.
According to general manager David Griffin, alternate arrangements were made for the players who do not want to stay at Trump SoHo, which bears Trump’s name through a licensing agreement although he does not own the hotel. Griffin reported that at least half of the 14 players traveling would not be staying at the hotel.
ESPN previously reported that at least three other teams — the Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks — would no longer use hotels with Trump’s name. The Mavericks are owned by Mark Cuban, who has been very vocal about his negative views of the president-elect.
James, star forward for the Cavaliers, publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton during the election season. In an op-ed penned by the athlete he wrote, “We need a president who brings us together and keeps us unified,” and “Policies and ideas that divide us more are not the solution.”
Some of James’ fellow teammates have also expressed their disdain for the president-elect. Last month, Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert told Complex magazine that, should his team win a championship during Trump’s presidency, he would not visit the White House.
“I can’t get caught up in the racial, sexist bullsh*t he’s got going on,” Shumpert said.
Cavaliers reserve forward Richard Jefferson previously said on Snapchat that his team’s visit to the White House during President Barack Obama’s presidency made them the “last team to visit the White House.” He later clarified his remarks, pointing out that many other players were unhappy with the election results.
“I just look across this league. There’s been other players with ‘scheduling conflicts’ as they like to call it — not necessarily a political stance,” Jefferson said. “But I could see other scheduling conflicts coming up.”
J.R. Smith, the Cavaliers’ shooting guard, took to his Instagram account following the election to express his disappointment and questioned how he would explain the results to his daughter:
“How do you explain to this face what happen You can be a educated women in your field an not get the job because your a women or cause your black How do you say ‘go try your best’ even though it won’t be good enough. How do I even feel confident sending her on play dates knowing the kids family voted for the racist, sexist person an I don’t know how they will treat her when she’s gone. How Seriously How I understand let go and let God! But damn!”